Thank You for visiting our Rio Hondo Amateur Radio Club Website.
We are based out of Whittier, CA and serve the City of Whittier and Surrounding areas as their Disaster Communications Volunteers.
The Rio Hondo Amateur Radio Club was established on March 8, 1976 on the campus of Rio Hondo College and has undergone several evolutions since then.
It is no longer affiliated with the college. We are today a medium-sized group of about 65 members. While much of our activity centers around our repeaters, our interests cover almost all aspects of ham radio.
Our membership ranges from hams licensed literally a few weeks ago to those who have been “playing radio” for over half a century. We are a growing club, not only in numbers but in skill level and experience. Many of our members are advancing through the three classes of ham licenses, and activity supported by and through the club. We believe in the “Elmer” concept where you gain knowledge from your “uncle Elmer” and pay it forward by becoming an Elmer to others.
We are small enough that members get to know each other so there is a social aspect in our club. In addition to socializing on the air and at regular meetings, three times a year we meet for dinner where families are not only welcome but encouraged. We are also a public service oriented club. Public service is a ham radio tradition. Many of us are registered volunteers with the Whittier office of emergency management. As a club we often provide communications for local events. Approximately quarterly we conduct classes to help the community obtain their ham licenses. We also occasionally conduct examination sessions for those hams wishing to upgrade their licenses.
Our general meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at the Whittier Parnell Park Community Center located at 15390 Lambert Road near Scott Avenue. We meet at 7 PM. Most months we have an Elmer or mentor session beginning at 6 PM, where the only dumb question is the question not asked. We also have a monthly meeting of the officers and board members where club members are welcome to attend and learn what is being discussed and planned for the club. We also meet on the air weekly on our repeaters for check-ins and to update members with timely information.
Our 146.175 and 445.560 repeaters are Yaesu System Fusion repeaters.
This is a fusion of traditional analog FM and C4FM digital, and the repeater automatically switches between traditional analog FM and C4FM digital based on the signals they receive. The advantage of this is that the members with C4FM digital radios can enjoy the features of the digital radio, without preventing those with traditional FM only radios from using the repeaters as well.
The Rio Hondo Amateur Radio Club, or RHARC, chose to move into the digital age with System Fusion repeaters rather than D-STAR or DMR because converting to either of those would obsolete the FM-only radios that almost every ham already owns. To remain active as a club member would have meant purchasing a new radio for those digital modes. With the Yaesu system, all members were able to communicate in FM using their existing radios after the installation of the new repeaters. That meant that, over time, our members who wished to do so could acquire System Fusion radios.
Remember, ?Fusion? is not a digital mode, like the Ford Fusion is not a digital car, Zantac Fusion is not a digital antacid and Asian Fusion cooking is not digital food. System Fusion is the fusion of an analog FM system, and a C4FM digital system in one device that uses AMS, Automatic Mode Select, to switch modes instantly based on received signals.
Finally, a note about digital operation on our repeaters. The digitized voice is processed through what is called a vocoder, voice encoder and decoder. Most digital radios, be they System Fusion, D-STAR or DMR contain one vocoder. So single display, single receive radios such as the FTM-3200, FTM 3207, FT-70, FTM-100 and FT-991 with AMS will switch modes for whichever repeater is selected. Dual display, dual receive radios such as the FT-1 and FTM-400 only have a single vocoder so only the upper display will switch between analog FM and C4FM. The lower display will not since it does not contain a vocoder. As a result, it is customary that our members use C4FM on our 445.560 repeater and select that frequency on the upper display. That should not prohibit C4FM digital operation on 146.175, but one should understand that members and guests with radios such as the FT-1 and FTM-400 may not ?hear? you when you are transmitting a C4FM digital signal. Note that the FT-2 has two vocoders so it is capable of C4FM operation on both the upper and lower displays.